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Backache – the vicious circle

Backache often leads to a vicious circle: many people with acute pain are afraid to move at all and take up a protective posture that reduces the pain at first. But avoiding painful movements with a protective posture in turn puts too much strain on muscle groups that had not been hurting up to then. In this way, the initially localised tension gradually affects the whole back.

Once this vicious circle has started, the original cause is no longer so important because it does not change the treatment. "By making an effort, you can make a great contribution to interrupting this mechanism:

Go for a walk and exercise on your ergometer, instead of taking to your bed and resting
Keep moving as much as you can!", advises Dr. Marco Gassen (sports doctor and back specialist from Wiesbaden - Simple pain relief, heat treatment and massage can help to alleviate acute pain. "In cases of acute but uncomplicated backache, try to go for a walk for 5 to 15 minutes several times a day; gentle exercising on a bicycle ergometer can help bring swift relief. Avoid lying or sitting for longer periods, unless in a relief position ("psoas" position). You should certainly not take to your bed!" says Dr. Gassen.


Causes of backache

Self-help begins in your own immediate surroundings

Without doubt, taking adequate exercise and correcting inappropriate behaviour patterns form the basis for a pain-free back. But your own efforts to keep your back upright will meet their limits when you come up against a back-hostile environment: poor chairs, beds or car seats. An ergonomically inappropriate working and living environment can also cause backache, so that this important factor should be taken into account when looking at corresponding causes and prevention.

As a result, the treatment and prevention of backache needs a holistic approach. Together with medical care and paying attention to your own back-friendly behaviour, you also need a back-friendly environment in your everyday life and job. Take a good look at your workplace. Often all it takes is a few simple adjustments to the office furniture to reduce the strain on your back. Make sure your private surroundings also offer back-friendly conditions. Your bed, couch, shoes or car seat for example should fulfil the requirements made of back-friendly products. More information can be found on this website.


Activating your self-healing powers: the mind helps the body

Marco Gassen
Dr. Marco Gassen

Backache has a considerable influence on your psychic well-being. Together with the physical causes, the origins and above all the persistence of backache come from inappropriate behavioural and emotional mechanisms. Stress and emotional conflict situations frequently cause muscle tension which can be expressed in backache. Treating the mind can often help to alleviate backache on account of this close relationship between backache and emotional stress. Psychological counselling and training sessions to cope better with stress and strains can be most effective at the onset of backache and prevent or delay any chronic development. There again, psychological measures are also very helpful for chronic pain.